Anne’s Column Tag

  Afraid of Your Child I recently was sitting in a coffee shop. A young couple sipped on their coffee near me and talked about buying a new stove. All the while their young boy kicked the leg of his father’s chair. The boy’s mother asked him to stop, which fueled the child’s determination to destroy their time. The young father asked his son again to stop and more kicks ensued. I was of course riveted. The...

  Over the years I have witnessed many parents’ reactions as their young children encounter someone they don’t know, which is, of course, just about everyone. A few particular situations have remained beyond vividly in my mind. I was looking, with droves of others, for Valentine’s Day cards. A little girl walked up and touched my coat. I looked at her, smiled and said, “Hello.” Her mother, from quite far down the aisle sirened, “Stranger Danger!” Staying...

  Ross Etheridge sat in his driveway, honking the horn. "Chop, chop Bozos! In the car or you're toast!”   His wife appeared, softly steering their children to the car.  “Liz, come on! I asked you to have the children ready!” Thomas and Lilly fumbled with their seat belts. Liz came over and helped them. She patted her children’s soft hair. “Ross, please try to slow down. The children love being with you. Life isn’t a race, even if you are...

  As a nursery school teacher with 40 years of experience, I like to think that I can be flexible and responsive to the requests of children and their parents. As a result, even though my teaching partners and I always ask that toys from home be left at home (or at least in the car), I have made exceptions when a child enters the class clutching a beloved toy and the mother says, “I couldn’t...

  Rosie was in her crib as her mother, Evelyn Wood finished emptying the dishwasher. The view from the kitchen was of a nondescript day, with a few birds singing a bit. Yet, Evelyn knew spring was coming and she adored thinking about spring. The familiar clinking of glasses and cups and pinging of silverware being put away made Rosie “ooh and ahh” and giggle. Evelyn and the other children could hear her in her room up...

  Jane Hallowell was waking up slowly. She heard light speedy feet coming down the hall. In seconds, Rafe and Will were plastered against their mother. Jack, Jane's husband was on a trip to London, the first one in several months. Gently patting her little boys’ backs relaxed them and bought them all more quiet time and a coziness that Jane adored. Saturday was a present; Jane felt this through and through. She knew no matter how...

  This was Anne's first Parenting Column ever, originally published in December, 2012 As young Mothers and Grandmothers gladly and wholeheartedly comb the earth to find a very special something for a little relative, they might be surprised to know they have this present already. What the child most wants is their attention and time. A child’s heart’s desire is unquestionably just a few hours with a parent or grandparent, somewhere simple, maybe at home, a cozy...

  Tender Thoughts John collected a few small pinecones with his babysitter Mary. He put them in his small wooden treasure box in his room along with the smooth blue button his friend Rosie gave him. The box also contained a pair of chopsticks, still in the wrapper, from the first time he used a pair with his mother and father, and a small green car given to him by his grandparents before they left for Florida,...

  On the first day of school, Mrs. Gallagher stood at the door of nursery school, greeting families, some new and others very familiar. She remembered us from our interview. “Sheila and Charlie, we’re so happy to have you.” I smiled and Charlie said, “Remember the bunnies in that room you showed us?” “I do, Charlie. You will see them again, later on.” Mrs. Gallagher pointed out Charlie’s classroom, and he eagerly walked down the wide hallway. Parents...

  Savannah Burke was cleaning up the oatmeal that her four-year-old son Jackson had spilled on the floor. Just then a feeling of something wet and cold made her touch the back of her white sweater. It was milk. She looked up and saw her son grinning as he put the glass on the table. As she reached for some more paper towels. Jackson said with a little laugh, “Too bad. More work for Mommy.” Just then...

  “Things just shouldn’t be so hard, Paul. You’re the kid and I’m your father. You get in the car when you are asked to and that’s that.” Russ’ voice was exasperated. Paul climbed into the jeep and tried to buckle his car seat. “That’s more like it. Try harder. You’re four now, or did you forget?” Paul’s hands were suddenly putty and he couldn’t get the metal things in their slots. Russ yanked open the back door of the...